Challenges During Times of Crisis can be Difficult for Families, but the Struggle can be the Reward
As families right now, we are facing unprecedented challenges that have us as parents and caregivers trying to juggle work life with the needs of our children and families as well as our own physical and mental wellbeing.
During times of crisis like this, it may feel as if anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. However, Families who view times of crisis as a shared challenge instead of something each must endure on their own will often find that their families are more resilient than they thought. Froma Walsh, the author of Strengthening Family Resilience, said, “Resilient Families see hardships as manageable and meaningful, something that contributes to growth and change across the life cycle of the family.”
Facing challenges is not enjoyable for anyone, but there is often a lot to be gained from the struggle.
Much like exercise is a stressor that delivers positive health benefits, struggles that families go through have the ability to make them stronger than they were before the challenge.
Consider these benefits as you work together through current struggles during these uncertain times:
You learn a lot about your family when you go through struggles. You don’t learn a lot about yourselves while you’re watching a movie for the fifth time from your couch. When life is easy, families have a natural tendency to get comfortable and coast. Any struggle is a test of your family’s will, ingenuity, and perseverance.
It’s a chance to learn how to use failure. Struggles often end in “failure.” Failure is a powerful tool when used properly. If families never struggle, they will never get to practice using failure to their advantage. ● The most successful families fail a lot. They also know how to learn from their failures and to come back better and stronger. ● Families also have the opportunity to learn that failure isn’t as traumatic as they thought.
Families can learn to persevere. The average person won’t struggle very hard, or for very long, before giving up. Any challenging time can be used to increase perseverance. ● Family success is practically guaranteed if you never give up on your goals.
Victory is sweeter. Easy victories don’t feel meaningful. The more you struggle, the more you appreciate that success. If you can easily finish a marathon, you just don’t get the same satisfaction as you do when it’s a real struggle to finish the last seven miles.
Life’s other challenges seem small by comparison. Families that never struggle are stressed by small things. Those that have lived hard lives take everything in stride. A little struggle now and then can remind your family that your everyday life isn’t so bad after all.
Struggling is good for us. The old adage, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” holds a lot of truth. When we struggle, we grow and become more capable. Working through challenges as a family can increase your family’s confidence, their mental stamina, and their appreciation for life.
Be willing to face your challenges head-on as a family. However, be smart and use your energy wisely. Some struggles are more worthwhile than others. Find meaningful struggles in life to conquer and enjoy the benefits for you and your family!